And now it's Billy's turn to take on the fight. It's Billy's turn to become a hero." N]othing Mike Lupica has written will thrill you like this." -William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride "Sportswriter and novelist Lupica offers a change of pace from his previous sports stories for younger readers, deftly reworking the traditional superhero origin story into a moving tale of adolescent growth." -Publisher's Weekly " T]he stage is set for a sequel to what looks like a surefire hit." -School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-10-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Sportswriter and novelist Lupica (Million-Dollar Throw) offers a change of pace from his previous sports stories for younger readers, deftly reworking the traditional superhero origin story into a moving tale of adolescent growth. Shortly after his father dies in a plane accident, 14-year-old Zach Harriman discovers that his father was more than just a highly placed government adviser; he might have been a superhero. As he investigates his father's death, he meets an old man named Mr. Herbert, who claims that Zach has magic within him, and Zach soon discovers that the mild hints of power he'd shown--a sixth sense about danger and an ability to heal quickly--are only the tip of the iceberg. Lupica nicely coaxes sympathy for characters who are immersed in privilege (only Zach's friend Kate, who lives with her housekeeper mother in Zach's huge Fifth Avenue apartment, doesn't exude wealth), instead focusing on Zach's grief, his conflicting emotions over his discoveries, and his uncertainty over who to trust. As superhero stories go, it follows a classic arc, but Lupica's characters avoid cliché. Ages 10–up. (Nov.)